A NURSERY found to provide an outstanding education is earmarked for closure as part of council cutbacks — while council tax could rise by nearly five per cent.

Little Hulton Day Nursery is one of five local authority run nurseries which could shut.

The controversial proposal was announced by Salford City Council because of, what they claim is Government cuts.

A campaign is now underway to save the nurseries, with an online petition already gaining names against the plans which would according to to those opposing the closure would lead to hundreds of children being placed elsewhere.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Residents are being hit hard by the impact of government cuts but more so in places like Salford.

“This year we have an extra unexpected burden put on Salford, with changes to government policy on Dedicated Schools Grant which limits the use of the grant to fund in-house early years’ services. This has led to the difficult decision to put forward a review of the future of Local Authority Nurseries.

“Children’s and adults social care services already makes up nearly 43 per cent of our core spending.

“And an increase in demand is resulting in an extra £5 million being spent on children’s services this year.

“The major ray of light for Salford has been from the economic growth of the city, increasing business rates and council tax income by £4.8 million. Without that income stream, our present situation would be much worse.”

The council say this is the eighth year the council has been hit by austerity with rising demand for services in adult and children’s social care both locally and nationally. It claims it has been been forced to make £198 million in savings since 2010, with a 50 per cent reduction in government funding — a loss of £60,000 each and every day.

The council is proposing to raise council tax by 4.99 per cent.

Mr Dennett said: “We are prioritising protecting frontline services, social care and support to those in most need.

“Decisions on savings proposals are becoming more difficult every year.” A council meeting will take place on February 28.